There are Free Lunches Statement of Intentions

There are Free Lunches: Behavioral Clues to Live Happy in the Economic World is a blog that intends to present updated and relevant information about the "hidden" and only recently uncovered dimensions of the economic science: the behavioral factors. With this blog we intend to promote in Europe and in the rest of the World, the top research articles and perspectives on behavioral economics, decision making, consumer behavior, and general behavioral science. We aim to be followed by journalists, academics, managers, civil servants, and everyone who wishes to improve their daily interaction with the economic world and consequently, their lives' happiness.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

CO2 #3 The media informs our choice in way they don’t realise. (And nor do we.) (via The Hunting Dynasty)

Like you, I am a fair-minded, considerate, person. The news I read, the stories I engage with, the information I glean is considered, compared, and compartmentalized against my existing understanding, which is itself, considered, compared, and compartmentalized – and so on. I am never told what to think. Frequently I am told what other people think, but never told what I should think. And if anyone tried, I would disengage.

What’s wrong with that? Nothing, it seems. But there’s a trapdoor.
I am never told what to think’ works on two levels as far as our 

cognition is concerned; explicitly and implicitly. Explicitly it’s easy 

to spot, ‘vote for me’‘I’m right when I say . . . ‘, etc. The implicit 

takes a lot more work to recognise, and is – arguably – more 

persuasive. Let me explain. 

Read this interesting article about implicit influence here: 

CO2 #2 The Information Diet (via Explore)

You are what you read – Clay Johnson’s excellent, articulate talk on The Information Diet – a much-needed case for conscious media consumption.

Watch Clay's insightful talk here: DietInformation 

CO2 #1 The Psychology of Discounting (via The Economist)

Something doesn’t add up

How marketers can take advantage of consumers’ innumeracy

WHEN retailers want to entice customers to buy a particular product, they typically offer it at a discount. According to a new study to be published in the Journal of Marketing, they are missing a trick.
A team of researchers, led by Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, looked at consumers' attitudes to discounting. Shoppers, they found, much prefer getting something extra free to getting something cheaper. The main reason is that most people are useless at fractions.
Read more about the importance of Unit Prices: DiscountingPsychology 

Monday, 27 August 2012

O2 #3 5½ Timeless Commencement Speeches to Teach You to Define Your Own Success

It’s that time of year again, the time when cultural icons and luminaries of various stripes flock to podiums around the world to impart their wisdom on a fresh crop of graduating seniors hungry to take on the world. After last year’s omnibus of timeless commencement addresses by J. K. Rowling (“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself. But poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”),Steve Jobs (“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”), Robert Krulwich (“You will build a body of work, but you will also build a body of affection, with the people you’ve helped who’ve helped you back. This is the era of Friends in Low Places.”), Meryl Streep (“This is your time, and it feels normal to you. But, really, there is no ‘normal.’ There’s only change, and resistance to it, and then more change.”), and Jeff Bezos (“Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice.”), here are five-ish more packets of timeless wisdom.
Watch here the graduation speeches/definitions of success from 5 relevant public figures in America: FiveDefinitionsSuccess 

O2 #2 The Future of Well Being - Deepak Chopra at TiEcon 2012

As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Chopra transforms the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. 
Known as a prolific author of over sixty-four books with nineteen New York Times best sellers in both the fiction and non-fiction categories, his books have been published in more than eighty-five languages. His latest New York Times bestsellers, War of the Worldviews, (co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow), successfully attempts to elevate the conversation around science and religion in a way that is thoughtful and constructive rather than polarizing and divisive.

Additionally, his New York Times bestsellers, Peace Is the Wayreceived the Religion and Spirituality Quill Award in 2005, and The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life was awarded the 2005 Nautilus Grand Prize. FINS - Wall Street Journal, mentioned his book, The Soul of Leadership, as one of five best business books to read for your career. His new book Spiritual Solutions, was released in March 2012.
Watch Chopra's talk about the future of well-being at TiEcon2012: FutureWellBeing 

O2 #1 Build Product Love with the IKEA Effect

Want your customers to love your product?  Make them build it themselves.  That’s the conclusion of new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research. Customers place a higher value on products they build themselves, rating their own work as high as that of experts.

There’s one catch: the construction project has to be completed successfully and retained intact. The researchers demonstrated this by testing conditions where assembly wasn’t completed or was disassembled after completion. Of course, in a typical consumer product, complete and correct assembly is generally a requirement for use, and problems that prevented that would likely result in a product being returned.

Read more about the IKEA effect here: ProductLoveIKEAEffect 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

CO2 #3 Don’t Miss BBC Two’s Documentary ‘The Men Who Made Us Fat’ (via Livin'La Vida Low Carbon)

You’ve probably already heard about Jacques Peretti’s BBC Two television documentary series “The Men Who Made Us Fat” airing in the UK over the past few weeks. But now the entire project is available to watch here in the United States in 15-minute increments via YouTube. This is WELL WORTH your time to watch and see exactly what has led us down this path to obesity and chronic disease in modern times. You’ll recognize some familiar faces like Dr. Robert Lustig and many others who are leading the charge in promoting the right health message in the 21st Century:

Check here the 12 YouTube vides: MenWhoMadeUsFat

CO2 #2 The Optical Illusions of Dinner Plates (via The Atlantic)

Plate selection may be the newest diet trend. If your food is the same color as your plate, you'll eat more. Smaller plates also make us believe we've eaten more.

There's an interesting new discovery concerning weight loss. You may subconsciously be eating more than you think you are if you're eating from the wrong color plate. Sound crazy? Well, there certainly seems to be something to it.

The color contrast on your table - between your food and your plate and your dinnerware and the tablecloth - creates an optical illusion that can encourage you to eat more than you realize, according to a new study by Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert van ittersum of Cornell University.

Click here to know more about the newest diet trends: DinnerPlates 

CO2 #1 Global Warming's Terrifying New Math (via Rolling Stone)

Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is.

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven't convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the "largest temperature departure from average of any season on record." The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet's history.

Not that our leaders seemed to notice. Last month the world's nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary reprise of a massive 1992 environmental summit, accomplished nothing. Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn't even attend. It was "a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago," the British journalist George Monbiot wrote; no one paid it much attention, footsteps echoing through the halls "once thronged by multitudes." Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I've spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we're losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.

When we think about global warming at all, the arguments tend to be ideological, theological and economic. But to grasp the seriousness of our predicament, you just need to do a little math. For the past year, an easy and powerful bit of arithmetical analysis first published by financial analysts in the U.K. has been making the rounds of environmental conferences and journals, but it hasn't yet broken through to the larger public. This analysis upends most of the conventional political thinking about climate change. And it allows us to understand our precarious – our almost-but-not-quite-finally hopeless – position with three simple numbers.

Check here for the main global warming 3 numbers: GlobalWarmingNewMath